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Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

By Dr. David Velkoff - PTSD is a serious psychiatric condition that affects a variety of individuals--not just soldiers returning home from the battlefield. Indeed, many individuals suffering from PTSD have never had a first-hand encounter with a stressful or traumatic event, but nevertheless, they still experience a significant number PTSD symptoms, including intense flashbacks, intrusive thoughts or feelings, anxiety, paranoia, insomnia, and many others. In many cases, these symptoms are treated with mood stabilizers and antidepressants, but at the Drake Institute, we believe there is a better way. 

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ADHD Symptoms & Behavioral Problems

By Dr. David Velkoff - Children with ADHD can experience a variety of negative symptoms, including hyperactivity, poor listening skills, and difficulty finishing tasks such as homework. However, what many parent's don't realize is that ADHD children are also at risk for developing secondary behavioral issues, such as defiance, depression, and anxiety. These behavioral issues can not only cause additional distress for both the child and their family, but they can actually cause their ADHD symptoms to become worse. 

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ADHD Parenting Tips

By Dr. David Velkoff - Raising a child with ADHD can be an extremely stressful and difficult experience for both the child and the parents. In fact, a study in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology found that parents with ADHD children have nearly twice the divorce rate as marriages that do not have an ADHD child. What's more, many parents of ADHD children unfairly judge or blame themselves as being ineffective or failing to have enough of an impact in helping their ADHD child.

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ADHD & Reading Comprehension

By Dr. David Velkoff - Reading comprehension is something that many children and adults struggle with, but is it ADHD or something else? Indeed, poor reading comprehension doesn't always originate from an attentional disorder--there may be other underlying issues present as well, such as an auditory or language processing disorder. Unfortunately, when faced with complaints of poor focus or reading comprehension, many physicians will simply prescribe stimulant ADHD medications, without first identifying the root of the problem. 

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ADHD vs Anxiety

By Dr. David Velkoff - Understanding the difference between ADHD and anxiety is a critical step in determining the appropriate treatment plan. Indeed, while the symptoms of ADHD and anxiety can look extremely similar, there are some important distinctions to be made. For example, children afflicted with a generalized anxiety disorder may have poor focus because their minds are dominated by anxious thoughts; however, an ADHD child's mind can be quiet, but easily distracted under certain circumstances. 

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What is Agoraphobia?

By Dr. David Velkoff - Agoraphobia is an anxiety disorder characterized by an irrational fear of a location or situation. Indeed, this fear can make a trip to the bank or grocery store filled with so much anxiety that it becomes nearly unbearable for the individual to endure. Crowds are also an issue for those suffering from agoraphobia, as it can make the afflicted individual feel as if they're in a life-threatening situation. 

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Side Effects of Prescription Stimulant Medications

By Dr. David Velkoff - Although effective in some cases, stimulant medications like Adderall, Dexedrine, Ritalin, and Concerta can cause a whole host of negative side-effects. In fact, a landmark study published online in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry found that children with ADHD who took stimulant medications from childhood into adulthood were, on average, shorter than their peers who didn't take ADHD medications. 

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Phobic Anxiety Disorders

By Dr. David Velkoff - Phobias are a serious problem in the United States, where as many as 19 million people are affected by a phobia of some sort. Fortunately, treatment for anxiety and phobic disorders is available and it has also shown to be highly effective. In this article, we will cover some basic information about phobic anxiety disorders and how they are treated at the Drake Institute. 

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What is Insomnia?

By Dr. David Velkoff - Insomnia is a serious condition affecting nearly a quarter of Americans and is characterized by an inability to fall asleep or stay asleep at night. Interestingly, insomnia isn't necessarily defined by the number of hours a person sleeps on a nightly basis; instead, insomnia is measured by the quality of sleep a person receives. So even if you're getting 7-9 hours of sleep at night, you still might be suffering from negative symptoms such as drowsiness, difficulty paying attention, and even memory loss due to sleep deprivation. 

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What is Anxious ADD?

By Dr. David Velkoff - Anxious ADD is one of the 7 theorized subtypes of ADD and is characterized by a severe feeling of anxiousness, nervousness, fear of confrontations, as well as symptoms of ADD. These symptoms are caused by a dysregulated brain, and after undergoing a qEEG brain map, we can often see that regions of the brain, including the prefrontal cortex and limbic system, are demonstrating atypical neuronal activity. 

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What is Overfocused ADD?

By Dr. David Velkoff - Overfocused ADD is one of the theorized 7 types of ADD and characterized by obsessiveness, rigid thinking, inflexibility with being able to shift one's attention, and symptoms of ADHD. Treatment options typically involve a range of medications, sometimes counseling and/or changes to diet, but at the Drake Institute, we believe there's a better way. 

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What is Inattentive ADD?

By Dr. David Velkoff - Inattentive ADD is a very common type of ADD; however, due to the nature of its observed symptoms, it is often confused for other disorders such as anxiety or depression. And while hyperactive individuals are easy to spot, children and adults afflicted by this ADD subtype often slip under the radar since their Inattentive ADD symptoms often don't result in overt behavioral symptoms. 

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What is Limbic ADD?

By Dr. David Velkoff - Limbic ADD is one of the theorized "7 types of ADD" and shares many similar symptoms to clinical depression, such as chronic low energy, moodiness, guilt, abnormal sleep, and a feeling of hopelessness. If left untreated, Limbic ADD can lead to failed marriages, poor marks at school, and chronic self-esteem problems.

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What is Temporal Lobe ADD?

By Dr. David Velkoff - Temporal Lobe ADD is one of the theorized "7 types of ADD" and is associated with abnormal brain activity in the Temporal Lobes of the brain. Temporal Lobe ADD can have a drastic effect on emotional and cognitive functioning, leaving individuals impaired and unable to achieve their fullest potential. 

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Why a Brain Map

By Dr. David Velkoff - Treating patients who are afflicted by an illness or any sort of medical condition requires that a proper diagnosis is made. Since ADHD and Autism Spectrum Disorders originate from the brain, it is critically important that we understand what is going on in the brain, so that a treatment plan can be created on an individual, patient-by-patient basis.

Consider an analogy, if an adult patient is suffering chest pain or experiencing symptoms suggestive of a possible heart problem, then the physician will evaluate the patient’s heart by initially performing an EKG...

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Side Effects of Anesthesia in Children

By Dr. David Velkoff - Surgeries, while sometimes necessary to keep our children safe, can sometimes carry a number of hidden dangers. One of these dangers is the use of anesthesia in children. Recent research has shown a link between the use of anesthesia in young children and the development of ADHD and other learning disorders...

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ADD in Boys vs. Girls

By Dr. David Velkoff - Children afflicted with ADD and ADHD don't always exhibit the same symptoms; in fact, it is often the case that symptoms will manifest differently between boys and girls. At the Drake Institute, we have observed these differences in symptom presentation and have developed treatment plans specifically designed to help both boys and girls.

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ADHD & Video Games: What's the Connection?

By Dr. David Velkoff - For many parents with ADHD children, it can be very confusing to see their child intensely focused on a video game. After all, ADD and ADHD are supposed to inhibit a child's ability to focus on a single task, so why are video games an exception to the rule?

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Can You Grow Out of ADHD?

By Dr. David Velkoff - For many individuals, there is a belief that children can eventually grow out of ADD and ADHD on their own; however, research has shown that this is simply a myth. The truth of the matter is much more complex: while certain symptoms of the disorder may disappear on their own, many of the disorder's other negative symptoms are still very much present...

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Facts about ADHD: Dispelling the Myths about ADD & ADHD

By Dr. David Velkoff - When it comes to ADD and ADHD, it is often the case that the truth gets clouded over and misconstrued by misleading information. The truth is that ADHD is a complex, very real disorder that afflicts 3 to 5 percent of the population, and as a result of misinformation, there are currently many children, adolescents, and adults who have not been successfully treated...

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T.O.V.A: An Accurate Assessment for Attention Deficit Disorder?

By Dr. David Velkoff - Evaluating a patient for ADHD is a strenuous process that involves the analysis of a variety of different data sets such as brain mapping and patient history. However, there are other strategies for evaluating a patient for ADD and ADHD, one of which being the T.O.V.A assessment. It's important to note, though, that T.O.V.A testing carries some important caveats with it... 

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What is Ring of Fire ADD?

By Dr. David Velkoff - Ring of Fire ADD is characterized by over activity in a global sense across the brain. This causes Ring of Fire ADD to be one of the most intense of the 7 types of ADD, causing the sufferer to become overreactive, hypersensitive, and experience intense feelings of anxiety. These symptoms, if left untreated, can lead to serious social and occupational difficulties...

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Why the ADHD Child Complains it is Unfair

By Dr. David Velkoff - A child suffering from Impulsive ADHD requires a great deal of patience and understanding. As parents and doctors, we have to understand that the impulsive child is not in complete control of their actions: the child's brain lacks the capacity to inhibit these impulses and prevent them from taking form... 

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The 7 Types of ADD

By Dr. David Velkoff - There are 7 types of add, and each type brings their own set of unique challenges and difficulties. At Drake, we pride ourselves in our ability to effectively treat each of these known types of ADD with non-invasive, drug-free treatment programs that can provide patients with long lasting, meaningful results...

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The Uniqueness of the Drake Institute

by Dr. David Velkoff on July 10th, 2010 For 30 years the Drake Institute has made neurofeedback and biofeedback the centerpiece of its treatment programs. It gives us a method to access brain functioning without any negative side effects and restore normalcy, thereby reducing or eliminating symptoms. It is not an “add on” to other therapies or medications in the...

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Clinic Reports Dramatic Results in Treating Children with Autism

By Art Harris- (Emmy award winning journalist, formerly of CNN and the Washington Post) LOS ANGELES, CA. – She was a mother without hope. Diagnosed with autism, her six year old son, EJ, bit other children, threw tantrums and chairs. “He had no future,” says Beatrice Tan, whose family stopped going to church–too risky to put EJ in the nursery. Now, after several months of...

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New Research Shows: Neurofeedback is an Evidence-Based Treatment for ADHD

NIJMEGEN, The Netherlands, July 16 /PRNewswire/ — Neurofeedback – also called EEG Biofeedback – is a method used to train brain activity in order to normalize Brain function and treat psychiatric disorders. This treatment method has gained interest over the last 10 years, however the question whether this treatment should be regarded as an Evidence-Based treatment was...

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ADHD Drug Effectiveness Now In Doubt

By SHANKAR VEDANTAM – The Washington Post – Friday, March 27, 2009 WASHINGTON — New data from a large federal study have reignited a debate over the effectiveness of long-term drug treatment of children with hyperactivity or attention-deficit disorder, and have drawn accusations that some members of the research team have sought to play down evidence that medications...

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ADHD Drugs: Hallucinations Not Uncommon

FDA Examines Incidence of Psychotic Symptoms in Children Taking ADHD Medications By Salynn Boyles WebMD Health News Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD Jan. 26, 2009 — Treatment-related hallucinations and other psychotic symptoms in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may be more common than previously thought, FDA officials report in the latest issue of the...

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Drug Companies to Reveal Grant Practices

By KEVIN FREKING, Associated Press Writer Thursday April 10th, 2008 WASHINGTON – For years, the nation’s largest drug and medical device manufacturers have courted doctors with consulting fees, free trips to exotic locales and sponsoring the educational conferences that physicians attend. Those financial ties in most cases need not be disclosed and can lead to arrangements...

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Skip the Ritalin and Treat Parents Instead

September 29, 2008 04:33 PM ET | Nancy Shute | Article Link England has a new plan for helping children with ADHD: Treat the parents first. With that, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence is giving a big “Whoa, Nelly!” to the recent trend toward increased use of Ritalin in the United Kingdom, saying instead that the first response should be to give...

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Use and Costs of Medical Care for Children With Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

Cynthia L. Leibson, PhD; Slavica K. Katusic, MD; William J. Barbaresi, MD; Jeanine Ransom, BS; Peter C. O’Brien, PhD JAMA. 2001;285:60-66. – Read the Full Article by downloading the PDF here Context A shortage of data exists on medical care use by persons with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Objective To compare medical care use and costs among persons with...

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ADHD and Adults: Causes Educational and Occupational Deficits

Last Updated: 2008-09-04 13:10:59 -0400 (Reuters Health) By Michelle Rizzo NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Compared to what they would be expected to achieve based on intellect, adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder or ADHD have lower educational and occupational attainments, a study shows. In the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, Dr. Joseph Biederman, of Massachusetts...

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Drugs for ADHD Not the Answer

Treating children who have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) with drugs is not effective in the long-term, research has shown. A study obtained by the BBC’s Panorama programme says drugs such as Ritalin and Concerta work no better than therapy after three years of treatment. Click Here for the original BBC Story. The findings by an influential US study also...

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ADHD Medication May Not Help Long-Term

UPI – Wednesday, 23 January 2008 Stimulant medication for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, may not affect what ADHD looks like in teens, a U.S. doctor found. University of California, Los Angeles researcher Dr. Susan Smalley found it surprising that youth in northern Finland are rarely treated with medicine for ADHD, yet the look of the disorder — its...

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ADHD Symptoms Change with Age

UPI – Published: Jan. 24, 2008 at 6:09 PM OULU, Finland, Jan. 24 (UPI) — U.S. researchers looking at attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder in Finnish children confirm ADHD symptoms change with age. Read the article at UPI. The study, published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, confirms hyperactive and impulsive behaviors do...

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Scientists Divulge New Approach to Catch Autism Early

Washington, Jan 25 (ANI): A new study at University of New South Wales has found that incorporating both psychological and biological factors helps in earlier detection of autism. The study was related to autistic and Aspergers disorders, which are characterised by ritualistic behaviours such as counting, tapping, flicking, or repeatedly restating information and compulsive behaviours...

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“David F. Velkoff, M.D., our Medical Director and co-founder, supervises all evaluation procedures and treatment programs. He is recognized as a physician pioneer in using biofeedback, qEEG brain mapping, neurofeedback, and neuromodulation in the treatment of ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorders, and stress related illnesses including anxiety, depression, insomnia, and high blood pressure. Dr. David Velkoff earned his Master’s degree in Psychology from the California State University at Los Angeles in 1975, and his Doctor of Medicine degree from Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta in 1976. This was followed by Dr. Velkoff completing his internship in Obstetrics and Gynecology with an elective in Neurology at the University of California Medical Center in Irvine. He then shifted his specialty to Behavioral Medicine and received his initial training in biofeedback/neurofeedback in Behavioral Medicine from the leading doctors in the world in biofeedback at the renown Menninger Clinic in Topeka, Kansas. In 1980, he co-founded the Drake Institute of Behavioral Medicine. Seeking to better understand the link between illness and the mind, Dr. Velkoff served as the clinical director of an international research study on psychoneuroimmunology with the UCLA School of Medicine, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, and the Pasteur Institute in Paris. This was a follow-up study to an earlier clinical collaborative effort with UCLA School of Medicine demonstrating how the Drake Institute's stress treatment resulted in improved immune functioning of natural killer cell activity. Dr. Velkoff served as one of the founding associate editors of the scientific publication, Journal of Neurotherapy. He has been an invited guest lecturer at Los Angeles Children's Hospital, UCLA, Cedars Sinai Medical Center-Thalians Mental Health Center, St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica, California, and CHADD. He has been a medical consultant in Behavioral Medicine to CNN, National Geographic Channel, Discovery Channel, Univision, and PBS.”

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